Postconditioning attenuates no-reflow in STEMI patients

Basic Res Cardiol. 2013 Nov;108(6):383. doi: 10.1007/s00395-013-0383-8. Epub 2013 Sep 11.


After acute myocardial infarction, the presence of no-reflow (or microvascular obstruction: MVO) has been associated with adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling and worse clinical outcome. This study examined the effects of mechanical ischemic postconditioning on early and late MVO size in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. Fifty patients undergoing primary coronary angioplasty for a first STEMI with TIMI grade flow 0-1 and no collaterals were randomized to ischemic postconditioning (PC) (n = 25) or control (n = 25) groups. Ischemic PC consisted in the application of four consecutive cycles of a 1-min balloon occlusion, each followed by a 1-min deflation at the onset of reperfusion. Early (3 min post-contrast) and late (10 min post-contrast) MVO size were assessed by contrast-enhanced cardiac-MRI within 96 h after reperfusion. PC was associated with smaller early and late MVO size (3.9 ± 4.8 in PC versus 7.8 ± 6.6% of LV in controls for early MVO, P = 0.02; and 1.8 ± 3.1 in PC versus 4.1 ± 3.9% of LV in controls for late MVO; P = 0.01). This significant reduction was persistent after adjustment for thrombus aspiration, which neither had any significant effect on infarct size, nor on early or late MVO (P = NS for all). Attenuation of MVO was associated to infarct size reduction. Mechanical postconditioning significantly reduces MVO in patients with acute STEMI treated with primary angioplasty.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Ischemic Postconditioning / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome